You Are The Main Reason Hogs Will Win

FAYETTEVILLE -- This is it. The biggest deal of the season.

Today's the day.

The time is right now.

Just as important, the place is here.

Arkansas beats No. 7 Kentucky in Bud Walton Arena this afternoon for the biggest win, by a bunch, of the third-season Stan Heath era.

In fact, this will be the most impressive Arkansas victory since the Hogs shot down No. 5 Alabama here, 67-59, way back on Feb. 20, 2002.

And it will jump-start the Razorbacks, who follow this up with winnable road trips to South Carolina and Ole Miss next week.

Why so sure the Hogs will net this?

1) You, the fans who will drive them to do it.

2) The Pigs now have beef inside.

3) Arkansas senior shooter Mike Jones is on target.

4) You.

5) Heath and company are sick of close calls and playing for pride.

6) Heath and company have had this circled for weeks, if not months.

7) Kentucky junior point guard Patrick Sparks was a Hilltopper. These are mountains.

8) Kentucky senior forward Chuck Hayes will play today, but he'll do so with a mask covering the nose broken during Tuesday night's win at Tennessee. That just ain't natural.

9) Arkansas' Jonathon  Modica is getting back into the swing of things.

10) Down (to Darian) Townes.

11) The Hogs have had almost a week to brush up for this tough test. Kentucky was flying back to Lexington from Knoxville late Tuesday night.

12) You.

13) The Hogs (.412) actually shoot 3-pointers better than the Wildcats (.326). Lots better. Arkansas leads the SEC in that category. Kentucky is 11th.

14) Disgruntled freshman Kentucky guard Joe Crawford has thus far been denied his request for a transfer, generally standard procedure. That can't be good for lockerroom vibes.

15) Eric Ferguson's on-the-ball defense.

16) Arkansas do-it-all sophomore Ronnie Brewer lives for big-time games like this.

17) You.

18) Sure, Arkansas stinks from the free-throw line, but the Wildcats shoot just .658 percent from there. Starters Randolph Morris (a freshman center) and Rajon Rondo (a freshman guard) make just 52 and 53 percent of their free throws, respectively (not to be confused with respectfully). The Hogs will know who to find in case of crunch time.

19) Kentucky (.390) is second in SEC field-goal defense.

20) Arkansas (.386) is first.

21) Kentucky hates the road almost as much as the Hogs. Two Wednesdays back, the Wildcats survived just 53-50 at awful Ole Miss.

22) You.

23) This is not the type of juggernaut you're used to seeing in blue. The Wildcats were hammered, 91-78, at North Carolina in December and Kansas beat them, 65-59, in that ol' Kentucky home -Rupp Arena. Kentucky also was fortunate to beat Louisville, 60-58, on three Sparks free throws in the last seconds and to survive South Carolina at home, 79-75, on Jan. 5.

24) You know a national CBS audience will be tuned in, so you'll be even more turned on.

25) Don't think the Hogs can steal this one? Arkansas leads the SEC with 10.16 per game.

26) At 48.3 percent, Arkansas is third in the SEC in field-goal shooting.

27) Kentucky (45.7) is ninth.

28) Those of you who paid $200 or so to soak up what will be brewing in Bud will make sure to get your money's worth.

29) Arkansas has to have this.

30) The only unbeaten team in SEC play, Kentucky does not.

31) The Hogs remember last season's never-close 73-56 blowout at Kentucky.

32) So do most of the Wildcats.

33) With a 9.1 average, Hayes is, by far, Kentucky's best rebounder. He sure he wants to stick his sore snout in the middle of the Hogs?

34) Arkansas is loads better at home.

35) Unlike last season, and the one before, the Hogs will not be intimidated by Kentucky.

36) We're predicting an Olu Famutimi dribble or two.

37) The Hogs can actually go deeper with more effect than the Wildcats.

38) The 2:30 tip-off time is perfect for pregame priming.

39) Forty Minutes of Yell.

40) You.

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